Some hitless baseball players blame the umpire. Pope Francis blames the Devil for his opponents.
The Pope refers to the Devil quite frequently. Sometimes he seems like a modern person tuned in to contemporary thinking. Then he brings up the literal “Devil” and you see part of him is still middle ages. It involves a pretend entity, the Devil, and blaming him for whatever comes along.
The Pope’s critics also play “Let’s pretend. There is a new book about the Pope written by Ross Douthat, a columnist on religion at the New York Times. Douthat is a Catholic convert and conservative. He likes what he thinks are the rules of Catholicism. If the rules are not followed, Douthat writes, the Catholic Church is just another slip sliding Protestant denomination.
Then Douthat begins his own game of pretend. He recognizes that Catholic marriage is sacred and to desolve is a serious matter. That is why he criticizes the Pope’s ruling that local priests can assess what happened in a marriage and choose to offer communion to the divorced.
Douthat recognizes the old rule of no communion for the divorced is bad for church numbers. So, his solution is to continue the requirement that marriages be annulled by the church before a remarriage but to make the annulment process faster and easier. In other words, he says, “Let’s pretend there is an annulment when really there is just a rubber stamp.”
Playing “Let pretend” is popular among people who pretend there is a god.